Seattle Federal Office Building

photo of Seattle Federal Office Building

909 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

View map [a nongovernment website]

The historic Seattle Federal Office Building (FOB) is an 11-story building that covers an entire city block near Seattle’s Pioneer Square area. Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Park Service (NPS), and Veterans Administration (VA) are the major tenants of the building.

For more information, contact:
Jeffrey Truax
Building Manager
Phone: 206-224-5902
Email: jeff.truax@gsa.gov

Seattle Metro Field Office
206-220-5055
Federal Govt Information - 1-800-FED-INFO
800-333-4636

Building Information

Property Manager: Jeff Truax

Public Hours: 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except federal holidays)

Parking and Public Transportation

There is no on-site parking available. Public parking is available at garages and parking lots on 1st Avenue and Western Avenue. Metered street parking is nearby.

The FOB is located one city block east of Seattle's main Washington State ferry terminal, which services water taxis on both the Vashon and West Seattle routes as well as passenger and vehicle ferries on the Bainbridge and Bremerton routes. King County Metro bus stops and SoundTransit light rail/train stops are also in close proximity [non government websites].

Public Access

All public visitors are required to pass through electronic security screening equipment on the first floor.

ADA access is available at the right entrance to the building on 1st Ave. Ring the bell and guard will come down and open the door.

Key Tenants

Major tenants are Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Park Service (NPS), and Veterans Administration (VA). In the latest (2017) Tenant Satisfaction Survey, 88% rated the federal building and GSA services four or five on a five-point scale.

Building Amenities

AMENITIES OPEN TO LOCATION HOURS OF OPERATION
U.S. Post Office Public 1st Floor, Lobby Vestibule M-F 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 - 5 p.m.
Vending Area Public 1st Floor, Southeast Building Hours

History and Architecture

Constructed in 1933, the Seattle Federal Office Building (FOB) was the first building in Seattle specifically designed for offices of the federal government. The designer of record was James A. Wetmore, the Department of the Treasury's Supervising Architect. Among its first tenants were 52 federal agencies, the largest of which was the Department of the Treasury.

The site the FOB was constructed on is significant in the development of the city. Prominent Seattle citizen A.A. Denny claimed that it was where he and two other city founders, William Bell and Carson Boren, first beached their canoe in the winter of 1851 after sounding (measuring water depth) the entire shoreline of Elliott Bay by using horseshoes tied to the end of a line. Denny subsequently built the first settler's cabin on the east side of Front Street (currently First Avenue), opposite the FOB site. The site is also associated with the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 that began across the street at the northeast corner of Front and Marion Streets. The fire destroyed over 64 acres and 58 blocks of the city's commercial center but was instrumental in the subsequent rebirth, building development, and growth of Seattle. In 1974, the start of the Seattle Fire site was placed on the State Register of Historic Places. Two plaques commemorating the event were placed at the northeast corner of the FOB.

Awards

Occupant Information

WELCOME TO THE HISTORIC FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING

As a historic property in Seattle's Pioneer Square, we are excited to welcome you! We encourage you to explore and experience the unique features of our landmark building. This online resource provides FOB tenants with information on building services, amenities and systems. As you settle in here please take the time necessary to familiarize yourself with the content. We intend this to be a living and valuable resource to enhance your working experience.

FOB Building Amenities

The FOB offers a number of on-site amenities and services, including a post office, eating and vending area, joint use conference rooms and motorcycle and bicycle parking for tenants in garage.

AMENITY OPEN TO LOCATION HOURS OF OPERATION
Joint Use Conference Rooms Tenants 1st Floor By reservation only. Reservation made through the Building Management Office.

FOB tenants have use of the cafeteria, auditorium, joint use conference rooms, health unit and fitness center located in the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building, directly across First Avenue. Fitness center requires membership through the tenant group.

Jackson Federal Building Amenities

AMENITY OPEN TO LOCATION HOURS OF OPERATION
Cafeteria & Vending Public 2nd Floor M-F 6:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Snack Shop and Sundries Public 4th Floor M-F 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Auditorium Tenants 4th Floor By reservation only. Reservation made through the Building Management Office.
Joint Use Conference Rooms Tenants Various Floors By reservation only. Reservations made through the Building Management Office.
Health Unit Tenants (on approved agency plans) 5th Floor, Room 577 M-F 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Fitness Center Tenants 3rd Floor M-F 5 a.m. - 8 p.m. (membership required)

Mail and Deliveries

USPS, FedEx and UPS services are available, as well as messenger and other deliveries.

Regulations

PROHIBITED

  • Weapons
  • Smoking
  • Solicitations
  • Space Heaters

ALLOWED WITH DISCRETION

  • Plants
  • Wall Mounted Items
  • Electrical Appliances

Service Requests

Building Manager: 206-220-5055
(for improvements, reimbursable services, keys, displays, space modifications, conference room reservations, etc.)

Service Desk: 800-806-8145
(for mechanical, housekeeping, facility issues, etc.)

Seattle Federal Office Building Restoration Starts During
National Historic Preservation Month

Decorative picture of the Seattle Federal Office Building.

SEATTLE, WA -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has started on an exterior restoration project of the 86-year-old Seattle Federal Office building located in downtown Seattle.

The $24.2 million exterior improvement project will help preserve the first official federal building constructed in Seattle to house federal agencies. Coincidentally, the project started during National Historic Preservation Month in May. This project is a testament to the importance GSA places on restoration and preservation.

“The preservation of our region’s most important buildings is good for taxpayers and good for our federal tenants who rely on GSA to deliver on its mission of providing savings in real estate,” said Northwest/Arctic Region GSA Regional Administrator Roy Atwood.

The work on this important historical Seattle building includes restoration of the exterior terra cotta and brick facade, window restoration, roof replacement, and other projects to prevent the intrusion of water into the building.

Without this important restoration, weather and other forces will continue to degrade exterior material and damage the structural integrity of the building. The last major upgrades to the building were completed in 1993. As a registered historic building, all work must comply with the guidelines for historic structures.

Crews are expected to start soon and continue into the Summer of 2021. Perimeter fencing and scaffolding may be installed around the building for security and safety purposes. The fence could limit pedestrian accessibility on the sidewalks at times.

Additionally, one side of the building could be used as a staging area for the contractor which would impact pedestrian traffic and street traffic for a short period of time.

Please visit www.gsa.gov/SeattleFOBrestoration for important updates to accessibility to the building and surrounding sidewalks as the project progresses.

Restoring this important Seattle building has been a priority for GSA’s Northwest/Arctic Region for some time. Besides being the first home to more than 50 federal agencies when it opened, GSA recognizes the importance of increasing the building’s lifespan given the historical significance of the property on which it sits.

The site the Seattle Federal Building was constructed on is significant in the development of the city. Prominent Seattle citizen A.A. Denny claimed that it was here he and two other city founders, William Bell and Carson Boren, first beached their canoe in the winter of 1851, later establishing the area as Seattle. Denny subsequently built the first settler's cabin on the east side of Front Street (currently First Avenue), opposite the Seattle Federal Building site.

The site is also associated with the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 that is believed to have been started with a glue pot that tipped over in what is now the boiler room for the building. The fire raged through the city - over 64 acres and 58 blocks of the city's commercial center, which was destroyed. This fire started a rebirth of Seattle. In 1974, the site was placed on the State Register of Historic Places to commemorate the location where the great Seattle Fire started. The event is recognized with a plaque placed at the northeast corner of the Federal Office building.

For more information about the project visit www.gsa.gov/SeattleFOBrestoration and for more information about GSA and historic preservation please visit: https://www.gsa.gov/real-estate/historic-preservation.

Project Manager: Aaron Evanson, 206-445-5876
Public Affairs Officer: Chad Hutson, 253-561-8477

Last Reviewed: 2020-06-04